THE news that WB has agreed to finance the Diamer-Bhasha Dam (Aug 21) must have elated the energy-starved country men that now there is a glimmer of hope that the perennial energy shortage would be addressed to some extent.

The news, however, contained a caveat that the approval of the WB depended on the NOC from India. Seeing the periodic estranged relations we have with our neighbour, it is unlikely that this NOC would be forthcoming anytime soon.

Some of us might be thinking why the hell we need permission from India to build this dam in our own country.

The reason, if I correctly understand, is that Galgit-Baltistan where the dam is located is treated by India as a part of Kashmir, hence a disputed territory and, therefore, needs India’s permission.

What a tragedy, we have not been able to solve the Kashmir dispute in 66 years in spite at least three wars, including Kargil, and our spending billions and billions of rupees in connection with or on account of the dispute.

And now we cannot even build a dam which we badly need for our economy, having already wasted no small amount on the abortive Kalbagh Dam.

In passing, may I add with due respect that didn’t we realise that the Hindu Raja who had purchased Kashmir from the Britishers like a plot of land would naturally opt for India, despite overwhelming Muslim population in the whole of Kashmir, and Mr Radcliff will be too willing to oblige India by again mischievously giving Gurdaspur to india to let them have the only access route to Kashmir.

Couldn't we raise a strong protest to give Kashmir a special status because the of overwhelming Muslim majority and specially because our economy depended on the rivers that flow rom Kashmir.

The havoc these rivers are now playing in Pakistan perhaps could also be minimised by better control of these rivers, if we had a say.

S. M. ANWAR Karachi

Published Aug 22, 2013 08:19am

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Comments (3) (Closed)


Khurshid Anwer
Aug 22, 2013 12:42pm

I fail to share the enthusiasm of the writer for Bhasha dam, it will take 12 to 15 years to commission Bhasha dam by when Mangla and Tarbela dams will be at half mast, Bhasha dam will not irrigate any additional acres, only those which Mangla and Tarbela dams will have stopped irrigating, same with the power, it will not light even one additional bulb

Ahmer
Aug 22, 2013 08:23pm

You might be out of date. The Finance Minister has announced yesterday that the WB has agreed to financed the dam after obtaining the required NOC from India. Can someone please clarify the true position.

Blitzer
Aug 27, 2013 09:38am

@Khurshid Anwer: All the more reason for us to fund DB Dam on our own and make sure it takes less than the projected 10-12 years of time to completion. After all, we do need a replacement dam for Tarbela when it comes to its logical end due to sedimentation. DB, Dasu, Kalabagh -- Pakistan needs all three mega projects, in addition to many, many small hydropower dams. The only question is if we have the determination to undertake these projects or not.